Let the children make fairy houses. They are going to do it anyway. They will search the yard for materials, assess their resources and needs. They will experiment with different construction and design techniques. They will negotiate with each other and their younger brother as he threatens to stomp it all out, delicate little early spring buds and all. They will tell each other stories about the houses they are making and who will live there and why and what the occupants will do. They will learn in spite of you and perhaps even to spite you.
Watch a tree being trimmed in your parent’s neighborhood. When the company contracted by the county to remove trees finally shows up to take down a tree, watch the process, sipping pomegranate juice and eating peanut butter crackers from the safety of their deck, one child in your nap, red juice stains covering his mouth and shirt and pants. Do not try to understand why the crew of three appears to be trimming a tree that looks healthy while leaving a dead, dried out hole of a tree (pockmarked with neglect and the scars of disease, precariously leaning into a fence that will not hold it up against the next stiff wind) untouched next to it. They might be cutting down the wrong tree. Still, they move with such complete confidence and ease, wielding a chain saw and ropes, harnesses and a wood-chipper that roars to work on cue. Such competence in a storm of incompetence is a shocking sight to see. It might be a while before you see it again.
Knit their socks while they play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Because you still can and they still can. And because the socks have already taken you weeks to finish and now spring is almost here when they will barely wear clothes much less shoes much less socks.
Consider over a dinner of leftovers whether the availability of SARS-CoV-2 tests at this point and time in your county, in your state, in your first world country is sufficient and acceptable. (It’s not.)